A peaceable abolition

Stiles/Akin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Location
Atlanta, Georgia
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What do you think is meant by a peaceable abolition? Was there ever an idea proposed for a peaceful abolition of slavery?
 

austin870

Private
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
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What do you think is meant by a peaceable abolition? Was there ever an idea proposed for a peaceful abolition of slavery?

"peaceable abolition" was the way every other western country in the world at that time period got rid of slavery. The US was the only country that had to kill 600K citizens and burn half the country to the ground. Everyone else was quite civilized about it. Even Britain pulled it off without any such problems. Our method, or lack of one, was inexcusable.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Nobody was keeping the lands of the west for themselves. So the alleged framing of Jefferson's perception is wrong.
The southerners had the same access to the west as people in the northern states. What was at issue was whether they could use the advantage of bringing coerced workers with them.
If they could not live without slaves, were unwilling to work themselves, unable to run a business using paid labor, then yes, they were uninvited to move to west and purchase large tracts of land.
If their manhood was so precariously dependent on degrading African Americans of their humanity, then they were barred.
But if they were willing to work and compete on equal terms with other people, then they were allowed and encouraged to move west, and many such people did move west and compete.
Once again, Francis Lieber warned us about such rhetoric.
By inaccurately stating the premise, the entire logic is routed to an erroneous conclusion.
 

O' Be Joyful

Sergeant Major
"peaceable abolition" was the way every other western country in the world at that time period got rid of slavery. The US was the only country that had to kill 600K citizens and burn half the country to the ground. Everyone else was quite civilized about it. Even Britain pulled it off without any such problems. Our method, or lack of one, was inexcusable.

austin, Though Great Britain should be rightfully recognized for its abolition of slavery in its colonial possessions and later policing of the seas against those involved in the slave trade, what that emancipation in essence amounted to was what we today would call a gov't Bailout due to the increasing economic pressures that were building and making the continued retention of slavery unprofitable.

The ongoing claims that slavery in the western hemisphere was ended "peacefully" without war are for the most part a myth. In some cases yes, but in all, no.

Edit: for clarity & typo

With a h/t to @cash , I am copying his post on this subject which can be found here. Please note the mention of Brazil which is the most frequent false example that is generally made.

Yes, it's an ahistorical myth that every other country abolished slavery without a war. In the Western Hemisphere, most of the countries who abolished slavery did so as a result of a war in some way. Anyone who makes the claim that every other country got rid of slavery without a war has no idea what they're talking about. All you have to do to explode that particular nonsense is to bring up Haiti. There, they got rid of slavery by killing the slaveowners.

"From the American War of Independence to the last surrender of slavery in Brazil in the aftermath of the Paraguayan War, to virtually everything in between--Saint-Dominique, the Spanish-American Wars of Independence, the U.S. Civil War, the Ten-Years War in Cuba--slaves fought for and won their freedom in the context of war. It was in the context of war that slave men became the objects of state interest and the focus of intense competition between warring states for political loyalty and military service." [Stephanie McCurry, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South, p. 311]

Add to that the fact that Brazil lost slavery in the aftermath not only of the Paraquayan War but also the abolition of slavery in the United States.

People underestimate the effect the Union victory had on the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The Antebellum US Navy didn't help the British suppress the slave trade coming into the Americas and operating in the Caribbean. This allowed slavers to smuggle slaves into Cuba and Brazil rather easily. With the Union victory in the Civil War, the US Navy, now larger than before and no longer occupied with the Civil War, was able to cooperate with the Royal Navy to suppress the slave trade. This cut off the flow of slaves into Cuba and Brazil. Cuba's slave population, unlike the slave population in the US, experienced not only no natural growth, but in fact had negative growth due to deaths, manumissions, and low birth rates. That was a body blow to slavery in Cuba, and the Ten Years War began the process that finished it off.

In Brazil, replacement of slaves was imperative, because on many of their plantations 75% of the slaves brought in were dead within three years. And the slave population was overwhelmingly male. This meant that the slave population in Brazil, again unlike in the US, wasn't able to reproduce itself. Brazil needed manpower to fight the Paraguayan War, and they used slaves, giving freedom in return for service, and thus striking the death blow to slavery there.

In both cases, the Union victory in the Civil War played a key role in not being able to keep the slave population at a steady level. Instead of focusing in slave reproduction, as was done in the US, they relied on slave imports. With the abolition of slavery in the US, followed by Puerto Rico and Cuba, Brazil was then recognized as the last Christian country in the Hemisphere with slavery. This moral imperative, though, wasn't enough to cause them to abandon slavery. It was the stark reality that they couldn't replace loss of slaves, leading to a plummeting of the slave population, combined with the need for manpower in wartime.

 
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wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
The cotton boom of 1840-1860 propped up the price of slaves in Virginia and Kentucky. If the secessionists had waited five more years that boom would have crested and the problem of finding work for slaves, with the Pennsylvania economy growing rapidly, would have been very perplexing.
If 5-6 slave states abolish slavery, or set up a plan to abolish slavery, the 30-10 ratio necessary to amend the constitution to abolish slavery is reachable and the debate about abolition never goes away until it passes.
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
austin, Though Great Britain should be rightfully recognized for its abolition of slavery in its colonial possessions and later policing of the seas against those involved in the slave trade, what that emancipation in essence amounted to was what we today would call a gov't Bailout due to the increasing economic pressures that were building and making the continued retention of slavery unprofitable.

The ongoing claims that slavery in the western hemisphere was ended "peacefully" without war are for the most part a myth. In some cases yes, but in all, no.

Edit: for clarity & typo

With a h/t to @cash , I am copying his post on this subject which can be found here. Please note the mention of Brazil which is the most frequent false example that is generally made.

Yes, it's an ahistorical myth that every other country abolished slavery without a war. In the Western Hemisphere, most of the countries who abolished slavery did so as a result of a war in some way. Anyone who makes the claim that every other country got rid of slavery without a war has no idea what they're talking about. All you have to do to explode that particular nonsense is to bring up Haiti. There, they got rid of slavery by killing the slaveowners.

"From the American War of Independence to the last surrender of slavery in Brazil in the aftermath of the Paraguayan War, to virtually everything in between--Saint-Dominique, the Spanish-American Wars of Independence, the U.S. Civil War, the Ten-Years War in Cuba--slaves fought for and won their freedom in the context of war. It was in the context of war that slave men became the objects of state interest and the focus of intense competition between warring states for political loyalty and military service." [Stephanie McCurry, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South, p. 311]

Add to that the fact that Brazil lost slavery in the aftermath not only of the Paraquayan War but also the abolition of slavery in the United States.

People underestimate the effect the Union victory had on the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The Antebellum US Navy didn't help the British suppress the slave trade coming into the Americas and operating in the Caribbean. This allowed slavers to smuggle slaves into Cuba and Brazil rather easily. With the Union victory in the Civil War, the US Navy, now larger than before and no longer occupied with the Civil War, was able to cooperate with the Royal Navy to suppress the slave trade. This cut off the flow of slaves into Cuba and Brazil. Cuba's slave population, unlike the slave population in the US, experienced not only no natural growth, but in fact had negative growth due to deaths, manumissions, and low birth rates. That was a body blow to slavery in Cuba, and the Ten Years War began the process that finished it off.

In Brazil, replacement of slaves was imperative, because on many of their plantations 75% of the slaves brought in were dead within three years. And the slave population was overwhelmingly male. This meant that the slave population in Brazil, again unlike in the US, wasn't able to reproduce itself. Brazil needed manpower to fight the Paraguayan War, and they used slaves, giving freedom in return for service, and thus striking the death blow to slavery there.

In both cases, the Union victory in the Civil War played a key role in not being able to keep the slave population at a steady level. Instead of focusing in slave reproduction, as was done in the US, they relied on slave imports. With the abolition of slavery in the US, followed by Puerto Rico and Cuba, Brazil was then recognized as the last Christian country in the Hemisphere with slavery. This moral imperative, though, wasn't enough to cause them to abandon slavery. It was the stark reality that they couldn't replace loss of slaves, leading to a plummeting of the slave population, combined with the need for manpower in wartime.


Most of the nations in the western hemisphere were able to end slavery peacefully in the 19th century. This included the possessions of both the British and Spanish empires.
 

O' Be Joyful

Sergeant Major
Most of the nations in the western hemisphere were able to end slavery peacefully in the 19th century. This included the possessions of both the British and Spanish empires.

With the early example of Great Britain, which followed up with its dominating economic & naval/military pressure for others to do the same & the later example of the United States; yes for the most part. I was pushing back on the notion that all was "peaceful."
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
"peaceable abolition" was the way every other western country in the world at that time period got rid of slavery. The US was the only country that had to kill 600K citizens and burn half the country to the ground. Everyone else was quite civilized about it. Even Britain pulled it off without any such problems. Our method, or lack of one, was inexcusable.
Not exactly true. There were slave revolts in Jamaica for many years. There was a huge slave rebellion in what is knoen known as Haiti. Thousands died both black and white.
Leftyhunter
 
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NedBaldwin

Major
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
California
Most of the nations in the western hemisphere were able to end slavery peacefully in the 19th century. This included the possessions of both the British and Spanish empires.

Not so.
In most of the nations of the western hemisphere the end of slavery came after war.
The Haitian and the US examples are well known.
British parliament ended slavery in its Western Hemisphere possessions after the Baptist war in Jamaica
For Mexico and Columbia the end of slavery came out of the wars of liberation from Spain.
In Argentina, Uruguay and Peru the end of slavery came about from civil wars.
The Paraguayan War led to the emancipation of many slaves in Brazil and a significant weakening of the institution
 

CW Buff

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
What do you think is meant by a peaceable abolition? Was there ever an idea proposed for a peaceful abolition of slavery?

Personally, I think what he meant was abolition by the South, on its own terms, without any outside interference. And no, there was no idea or plan proposed. It was the usual wishful thinking, like the c1787 hope that slavery would just fade away. Though Jefferson did have a plan at one time, in 1784, to ban slavery throughout the western territories. But that failed by one vote, during the Confederation when 9 out of 13 would be required. But he apparently Jefferson felt that kind of thing should only be attempted by a Southerner.

Whether abolition on Southern terms was his definition of peaceable, or he knew that agitation over slavery would result in violent abolition, IDK. But, I think the latter is unlikely, because at the time, it would be far less likely the free states would win any such conflict. He certainly could predict a possible civil war over the matter, but not a Union victory, or, therefore, abolition.
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
Not so.
In most of the nations of the western hemisphere the end of slavery came after war.
The Haitian and the US examples are well known.
British parliament ended slavery in its Western Hemisphere possessions after the Baptist war in Jamaica
For Mexico and Columbia the end of slavery came out of the wars of liberation from Spain.
In Argentina, Uruguay and Peru the end of slavery came about from civil wars.
The Paraguayan War led to the emancipation of many slaves in Brazil and a significant weakening of the institution

In Great Britain, the end of slavery was really motivated by the growth of abolitionist societies and religious groups and not the slave revolt in Jamaica. In most of the countries that you mentioned the emancipation of the slaves became an instrument of the revolutionaries who sought power. The wars were not motivated by a desire for emancipation itself.
 
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